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May. 3rd, 2017 | 08:44 pm

But I'll settle for really fresh oysters.

I have officially made it through Connecticut and the first leg of this trip! I had not originally intended to come up this way on my trip, but then JetBlue had a very good sale so I added just about 24 hours to the start of the trip.

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"We couldn't decide on an architectural style so we picked all of them."




Said JetBlue flight didn't depart until 5 pm, so most of Tuesday was spent flitting around gathering and packing. While beginning to gather outfits, I realized my dress shoes were sitting in my bottom desk drawer and I would need those to present in New York, so I made a quick 9 a.m. appearance at the office just to grab to those. From there I went back home, then off again to TJ Maxx to look at new suitcases. The options were pretty overwhelming but eventually I got something similar to my current one but not broken and played Bus Stop Roulette trying to get home in a reasonable amount of time. Then it was laundry time, and while that was going I drove B to work. Finally I put it all together (and even folded all the stuff not going with me!) and got on the train to DCA.

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Destination: Even more historic* stuff!


The JetBlue people were perfectly nice, even when I initially dropped my bag at the AA area by mistake. And the concourse they use is one of three identical ones (including the Delta area where I usually am), but we got underway about 20 minutes late. Flight was uneventful except that I had a great view of New York out the port side! Something to anticipate for the coming days. Upon landing BDL was very light and I got out of there with my suitcase in no time (it still looks like every other person's bag, woe). I shared the giant rental car shuttle driver with one other traveler, then got my car (Hertz thought I should have a Mazda 3? Sure ... ) and started driving toward my hotel. I popped into a Target for a few supplies, then got caught in standstill traffic for over an hour due to night construction. At least I liked my rental car and its ability to connect to my iPhone and music, because I definitely spent more quality time in it than I wanted. From there I stopped at Sonic for a greazy dinner, because I have a duty to do so while traveling, then I was in for the night.

On Wednesday morning I partook of the free Fairfield breakfast, which was generous and served by the super nice staff. They even had soy milk for my coffee, so bonus points for that. Once I was sufficiently caffeinated and organized I drove in to Hartford, which is kind of a hard city to love. I'd never met anyone from Hartford proper, only from the suburban fringes, and that says something both about CT and about the people I come across in life. The whole area is very segregated, where the vast majority of Latino folks live right around downtown, and the CBD itself is almost exclusively ugly office buildings. Much like other capitals, though, that means it is extremely easy to park anywhere. I paid a pittance to do so, then got out and explored. It is a lovely place with big lovely houses, walkable neighborhoods and plenty of green space, so certainly it isn't all bad.

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I can and should do a whole series on neglected statues** on Capitol grounds.

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Fun details abound.


During this whole project the activity level inside the Capitols has ranged from very sleepy to moderately active, but Connecticut certainly was in a league of its own. I knew from local news that the legislature was in session, and that both pro- and anti-casino factions were lobbying that day. Apparently the State Senate greenlit a third casino for the state a few weeks after my visit. Coupled with special events and the expected tourists, it was a total madhouse.

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These folks had the best outfits, and not just because the casino fans/foes were wearing matching T-shirts.


This place also had the distinction of not really offering much wayfinding; I got quite lost and probably should have availed myself of one of the guided tours. Still! I do find it rather fun to start wandering up stairwells or around corners to see where I end up. Surely the security staff were less amused. At least I didn't poke my head in anywhere that I wasn't supposed to be.

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Based on similarities to the US Capitol plan, I suspected this stairwell led to an upper portion of the rotunda, but alas could not find an unlocked place to view it.

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Other stairwell detail.


Despite all the buzz, it can be difficult to time visits with actually seeing either house in session and this was no exception. This was the Senate Chamber; as the only person up in the gallery I felt a little self-conscious taking photos of what was obviously not any real activity. But it was pretty.

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I do like the circular arrangement*** as an alternative to the usual configuration.


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I'm told they have moved her around the building at various times, but the current slot is quite photogenic.


From there I got back on the road down to Bridgeport, which was an adventure in itself, dropped off the car, and then Amtrak carried me on to New York! This now means I've covered a good bit of southern New England in 2017, without ever intending to do so!

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11 of 50!


To update you if you've been following along or are new to my LJ, I have now visited:
  • Columbus, OH
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Lansing, MI
  • Carson City, NV
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Columbia, SC
  • Olympia, WA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Providence, RI
  • Hartford, CT


I do intend to come back to other parts of CT, though, namely to see the shore and for an architecture pilgrimage very high on my list. But I can check it off as my 31st state for now.

If you were curious:
*The Hartford Civil War Memorial.
**Richard Hubbard, a Congressman and later Connecticut's 48th Governor. His term was not sufficiently notable to place him indoors.
***I literally could not find the entrances to the House Chamber and was certainly not allowed to go near its actual entrance, so you'll have to use your imagination/search engine. But it is in a more traditional arrangement, anyway.

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Comments {7}

mark

(no subject)

from: kishenehn
date: May. 31st, 2017 12:47 pm (UTC)
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Nice!

My only experience with inland Connecticut was quite a few years ago, when a NW screwup caused me to miss a connection at BDL, and I spent the night in an airport hotel. It would have been more fun to wander the capitol, instead.

That's a great building, but hopefully the state can use some of their casino tax money to re-carpet the Senate chamber. :)

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: May. 31st, 2017 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Later in the week I was told about other lovely corners of the state. We need to go back!

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M!ke

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from: rockingthemike
date: May. 31st, 2017 12:48 pm (UTC)
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i'm a total architectural noob, but there's something about state capitols and our own legislative assemblies that are so beautiful to see. in most cases, the only real hold-over from european styles that we've held onto.

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: May. 31st, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
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This one was lovely, if not super practical in the 21st century. In the States we also have some lovely old courthouses, town halls, and other government buildings in similar styles.

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M!ke

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from: rockingthemike
date: Jun. 1st, 2017 11:48 am (UTC)
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court buildings here still retain old styles (for the most part), but i find city/town halls really vary... ours is a modern building here in ottawa, and it's ugly af.

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Melissa

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from: promiseoftin
date: May. 31st, 2017 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Cool pictures!

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: May. 31st, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I took at least 100 so tried to narrow down to the best. And yet all were taken in portrait orientation! D:

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